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At-Will Employment

The Foundation is committed to a standard of excellence in the products and services it provides and in the quality of work expected of its employees.  Recognizing that performance results and relationships are not always mutually satisfactory, and to protect the rights of both the Foundation and the employee, it is important that both retain the ability to determine their relationships with one another.  Consequently, employees and the Foundation share the right to sever the employment relationship at-will.  As a condition of employment, employees must understand and agree that they are employed at will.  This means that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship between them at any time, with or without notice, and with or without cause.  Employees must recognize that the employer retains the right to establish compensation, benefits and working conditions for all of its employees.  Accordingly, employees must understand and agree that the employer retains the sole discretion to modify an employee's compensation and benefits, position, duties and other terms and conditions of employment, including the right to impose discipline of whatever type and for whatever reasons the employer, at its sole discretion, determines to be appropriate.

Nothing in this handbook or in any document or statement shall limit the right to terminate employment at-will.  No supervisor or employee has any authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time or to alter the at-will nature of the employment relationship.  Only the Foundation Executive Director has the authority to make any such agreement and then only in writing. 

This handbook contains the entire agreement between the employee and the Foundation as to the duration of employment and the circumstances under which employment may be terminated.  Even when an employee is hired for a specific duration (e.g., the length of a project), this is understood to be a maximum or outside limit, and employment may be terminated at any time prior to the end of the specified duration.  Nothing in this handbook, or in any other personnel document, including benefit plan descriptions, is intended to create a promise or representation of continued employment.

Electronic/Use of Technology and the Internet

This policy, recognizing the integral relationship between the Foundation and its host campus, mirrors campus policy for the use of electronic and computing communications. This policy includes all systems/resources for both local departmental and central university-wide facilities and applies only to institutional data and/or equipment. This policy does not apply to computing equipment that is the property of the employee except that the use of personal equipment linked to university facilities (e.g., a personally owned microcomputer linked to the campus network) will be subject to applicable provisions. In all cases, applicable statues and regulations that guarantee either protection or accessibility of institutional records will take precedence over this policy.


The purpose for computing and communications systems, services, and facilities of the Foundation is to support the educational and service mission of the University. This policy sets forth users’ rights and responsibilities and is designed to address related access, use, and privacy issues in a way that meets the University’s legal responsibilities, assures the maintenance of the campus network systems, and treats the campus community with respect. This policy assumes as a condition of use the exercise of common sense, common courtesy, and a respect for the rights and property of the Foundation, University and users.


Access to the university’s computing and communications facilities and resources is a privilege granted for the purpose of educational use and legitimate university-related business by university faculty, staff, currently registered students, and individuals or organizations outside the University who are actively involved in research, development, or other projects sponsored by a department, college or the institution. Retired faculty and staff will be granted continued access to computing and communications facilities, but such access under certain circumstances may require modifications due to limited resources. Faculty and staff whose employment status has been terminated for reasons other than retirement will not retain any form of access.

Legal Basis

Use of the university’s computing and communications facilities and resources is governed by all applicable CSU system and university policies and procedures, as well as by all applicable federal, state, and local laws and statutes. Material accessible to the CSU, Chico community through networks and material disseminated from CSU, Chico should not be restricted on the basis of its content nor because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to its creation. University administrators, faculty, and staff should challenge any attempts to censor electronic information resources.

Privacy and Ownership (Disclaimers)

The University and Foundation support each individual’s right to private communication and will take reasonable steps to ensure security of the network. However, messages on university computing resources are potentially accessible to others through normal system administration activities and to the public through public records laws. Hence, the University cannot guarantee absolute privacy of electronic communication.

The University supports each individual’s right to privacy of personal files. However, in the normal course of system administration, the administrator may have to examine user files to gather information to diagnose and correct problems. Additionally, with reasonable cause for suspicion and appropriate administrative authority, files may be examined by system personnel to determine if a user is acting in violation of the policies set forth in this document, other university policies, and state or federal status.

The University cannot guarantee that, in all instances, copies of critical data will be retained on university systems. It is ultimately the responsibility of computer users to obtain secure, backup copies of essential files for disaster recovery.

The University will normally treat all e-mail messages, personal files, and personal data as private and confidential and will normally examine or disclose the contents only when authorized by the affected computer user(s). Requests for access to private messages/data for any other purpose than technical problem resolution will be approved by the senior Academic Affairs Officer or his/her designee, except as necessary to protect the integrity, security, and effective operation of the university’s computing and communications facilities or as required by local, state, or federal law. 

To protect the integrity, security, and effective operations of the university’s computing and communications facilities and the users thereof against unauthorized or improper use of these facilities, the University reserves the right, without notice, to limit or restrict any individual’s use of any computing and communications facility or resource and to inspect, copy, remove, or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resource which may undermine security, integrity, or the effective operation of the university’s computing and communications facilities. The University disclaims responsibility for loss of data or interference with files resulting from its efforts to maintain the privacy and security of computing and communications facilities.


Having open access to computing and communications facilities implies some risk. The University cherishes the diversity of values and perspectives endemic in an academic institution and is respectful of freedom of expression. Therefore, it does not condone censorship nor does it endorse the inspection of files other than on an exceptional basis.  As a result, the University cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. Reasonable expectations of privacy are diminished once electronic communications are sent to other users or posted on public systems.

Like a written communication, an e-mail message received by an individual will be considered the prerogative of the recipient to dispose of (copy, delete, save, send to others, etc.), as he/she desires. An electronic message should be accorded care and courtesy similar to that accorded a written communication.

University or Foundation -purchased, -owned, or -maintained software for individual workstations and site licenses, data, and custom applications programs are the exclusive property of the University or Foundation and shall be used by faculty, staff, and registered students only in the conduct of University or Foundation business.

User Responsibilities and Acceptable Use

Each faculty, staff, and student of the CSU, Chico or Foundation computer communications systems is responsible for the material that he or she chooses to send or display using the campus computing/communications resources.

Acceptable use of computing and communications facilities and resources at CSU, Chico includes:

  • Respect for the legal protections provided by copyright and licenses to programs and data as well as university contractual agreements.

  • Respect for the rights of others by complying with all university and foundation policies regarding intellectual property.

  • Using accurate identification in all electronic communications to avoid deliberately misrepresenting any user’s identity.

Additional information about copyrights can be fount at:

  • TLP’s List of Copyright Information Web Sites

  • Meriam Library’s Copyright Information Page

The following guidelines further pertain to the appropriate use of campus computing and network services:

  1. Threats/Harassment*. Users may not use campus computing or network services to threaten, harass, defame, or otherwise interfere with the legal rights of others. (* Harassment is defined as the creation of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.)

  2. Respect of Privacy. Users must respect the privacy of other users. Examples of lack of respect for the privacy of others include reading their mail, accessing their files, or using their computer account or electronic mail address (except as may be required in the case of university employees for the purpose of facilitating official university business).

  3. Sharing of Account. Users may not share their password with others or let others use their account (except as may be required in the case of university employees for the purpose of facilitating official university business).

  4. Academic Honesty. Users must respect the intellectual property of others and adhere to university standards of academic honesty. Examples of academic dishonesty include accessing or using the files of others without their permission, altering or destroying their files or messages, violating standard citation requirements for information accessible electronically, or using copyrighted software in violation of the copyright agreement.

  5. Illegal/Incompatible Uses. Users may not use computing and network services for uses that are inconsistent, incompatible, or in conflict with state or federal law, CSU policy, or local campus policy.

  6. System Disruption. Users must not intentionally disrupt the campus computing system or obstruct the work of other users, such as by interfering with the accounts of others, introducing or spreading viruses or other destructive programs on computers or the network, sending chain letters or blanket-email messages, or knowingly consuming inordinately large amounts of system resources.

  7. Operational Procedures. Users must respect the University’s operational procedures for computing and network services. Users are responsible for knowing and abiding by posted computer lab and network procedures. Generally, operational procedures prohibit printing multiple copies of documents on networked printers and playing games in labs when others are waiting for systems. Finally, as instructional use is paramount, users must leave a lab when it is needed by a class that has reserved the room in advance.

Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions

University faculty, staff and students who violate the above policy may be subject to disciplinary action following established Foundation channels for disciplinary matters. Individuals who violate U.S. copyright law and software-licensing agreements also may be subject to criminal or civil action by the copyright or license owners.

Actions that are illegal or against university policy will be referred to the appropriate officials regardless of whether or not a computer was involved in their commission.

The University/Foundation may track user activities and access any files or information in the course of performing normal system network maintenance or while investigating violations of policy or statute. Anyone using CSU, Chico’s resources expressly consents to such tracking and is advised if such tracking reveals possible evidence of criminal activity the University/Foundation will provide the evidence to law enforcement officials.

Violators are subject to any and all of the following:

  • Loss of computing and networking access

  • University/Foundation disciplinary actions

  • Civil proceedings

  • Criminal prosecution

Offenders may be prosecuted under laws including (but not limited to):

  • The Privacy Protection Act of 1974

  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986

  • The Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989

  • Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property Act

  • The California Criminal Code

  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Reporting Policy Violations

If a person believes that a violation of this policy has occurred, he/she should contact the system or network administrator responsible for the system or network involved, who will report the incident to the college/unit policy officer in accordance with local procedural guidelines, should they exist.

There may be situations when the following additional offices should be contacted:

  1. University Health Center and/or the CSU, Chico University Police, if an individual’s health or safety appears to be in jeopardy;

  2. Foundation Administration, if violations occur in the course of employment;

  3. Campus agent to receive notification of a claimed copyright infringement, as it relates to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998;

  4. Informational Resources, serving campus-wide resources, if an incident potentially bears external or legal consequences for the institution. This office is available to assist with investigations, generally under the auspices of the college/unit policy officer. You may also contact this office if you wish to report an incident but are unable to do so through normal channels.

Conflict of Interest

Situations of actual or potential conflict of interest are to be avoided by all employees.  No employee will directly or indirectly maintain outside business interests or engage in any other outside financial activity that, in the judgment of the Foundation, conflicts with its interests or the employee's ability to perform his or her job. 

While the Foundation does not seek to interfere with the off-duty and personal conduct of its employees, certain types of off-duty conduct may interfere with the Foundation's legitimate business interests.  Employees are expected to conduct their personal affairs in a manner that does not adversely affect the Foundation's or their own integrity or credibility.  Personal or romantic involvement with a competitor, supplier, or subordinate employee that may impair one’s ability to exercise good judgment on behalf of the Foundation creates a potential conflict of interest, potential problems with supervision, or employee morale, and other job-related concerns.

While employed by the Foundation, employees are expected to devote their energies to their jobs.  For this reason, second jobs are strongly discouraged for full-time employees.  Outside employment or activity is prohibited where it creates a conflict of interest or incompatibility with Foundation work, conflicts with an employee's job schedule or responsibilities, or adversely affects the employee's work performance.


Each employee is responsible for safeguarding confidential information obtained in connection with his/her employment.  It is the employee's responsibility to not divulge any such information unless it is necessary to do so in the performance of his/her duties.  Access to confidential information should be on a "need to know" basis and must be authorized by the supervisor.

Drug And Alcohol Abuse

The Foundation recognizes its responsibility to provide a safe and productive work environment for its employees.  Similarly, the Foundation expects employees to perform at their best and in a safe manner.  Inappropriate or abusive use of drugs or alcohol can affect an employee's productivity, create a hazard to others, and impair the credibility of the organization.

The Foundation prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs or other illegal substances while on the job or on University property.  Employees must not work under the influence of any drug or other substance, including medically prescribed drugs, which will adversely affect their work performance or affect the safety of others on the job.  Violation of the prohibition against unlawful drug use will not be tolerated and may be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities.  Employees using a prescribed drug that may limit their ability to perform their job duties safely or efficiently are required to inform their supervisors and provide a doctor's verification of need. 

Federal law requires that any employee employed under a federal grant notify the Foundation Human Resources Director in writing of any criminal drug statute conviction or violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction.  The Foundation must inform the sponsoring federal agency within ten days of receiving such employee notice.  In order to enforce this policy, the Foundation reserves the right to inspect, in consultation with law enforcement, employees or any articles and property in their possession.  The Foundation may also conduct searches of Foundation and University property, and related personal items, when there is reasonable suspicion of a violation of this policy.

The Foundation will encourage and reasonably accommodate employees with alcohol or drug dependencies to seek treatment and rehabilitation.  The University has a confidential Employee Assistance Program, available at no cost to Foundation employees, offering assessment and referral services. 

Employees who take the initiative to advise the Foundation of an alcohol or drug abuse problem, who have not engaged in misconduct or repeated poor job performance, and who demonstrate a commitment to remedial action, may be eligible to continue to work provided that a recognized treatment or rehabilitation program is followed and all standards of job performance and conduct are met.

The Foundation will attempt to reasonably accommodate employees who are receiving professional assistance with problems of substance abuse and whose improved ability to perform the job reflects the success of such a program.  Employees who require time away from work to participate in a recognized treatment or rehabilitation program may be placed on a non-paid personal leave of absence for a period consistent with that offered for other disabilities, so long as they are actively engaged in an approved rehabilitation program.  Information concerning these employees will, as much as possible, be accorded confidential status: only persons with a need to know shall have access to such information. 

The Foundation is not obliged, however, to continue to employ any person whose performance of essential job duties is impaired because of drug or alcohol use.  Nor is the Foundation obliged to continue the employment of any person who has participated in treatment or rehabilitation, if that person's job performance remains impaired as a result of the dependency.  This policy on treatment and rehabilitation is not intended to restrict the Foundation's treatment of employees who violate the regulations described above.  Rather, rehabilitation is an option for an employee who acknowledges a chemical dependency and voluntarily seeks treatment to end that dependency.

The CSU, Chico Research Foundation Administrative Office will be responsible for the administration of this policy and act as a resource for employees.  Supervisors will be responsible for immediately reporting any incident of suspected substance abuse or an employee’s request for assistance to the Human Resources Department.

This policy, including Federal Trafficking Penalties, is distributed to all CSU, Chico Research Foundation employees in response to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and communities Act Amendments of 1989.  As provided by law, this policy will be subject to biennial review to determine the effectiveness of the program and to implement needed changes and insure disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

Employer Property

Foundation property (desks, vehicles, etc.) is to be used only for Foundation business unless other use has been specifically authorized.  The Foundation reserves the right to inspect all Foundation property to insure compliance with its rules, without notice to the employee and in the employee's absence. 

Prior authorization must be obtained in writing before any Foundation property may be removed from the premises.

An employee's personal property, including but not limited to packages, purses and backpacks, may be inspected, in consultation with law enforcement, upon reasonable suspicion of unauthorized possession of Foundation property, or a violation of Foundation rules.

See Property Policy (Word) for additional information regarding property.

Intellectual Property

Employees may, in the course of employment, have access to certain equipment, documents, discoveries, projects or similar items relating to the business of the Foundation, whether prepared by the employee or otherwise coming into his/her possession.  Such items shall remain the exclusive property of the Foundation and shall not be removed from the premises without the prior written consent of the Foundation.  Work done while an employee is working for the Foundation, in terms of patent, copyright and other intellectual property shall remain the exclusive property of the Foundation unless a written agreement detailing other terms is signed by an authorized Foundation official.  The Research Foundation may copyright, patent, license or otherwise seek protection of such property and share royalties with employees.

See additional information regarding Intellectual Property at: Intellectual Property/Copyright Policy/ EM 97-07

Leaves Of Absence

At its discretion, the Foundation may grant an employee a temporary leave of absence without loss of employment status.  Unless specifically provided otherwise, all general leaves of absence are available only on an unpaid basis.  There are specific rules for defined leaves explained below.  Subject to any applicable provisions of law, requests for leaves of absence will be at the Foundation's discretion.  To apply for a leave of absence, the employee must submit a request in writing to the supervisor, giving the reason(s) for the leave.  When the need for a leave is foreseeable, employees are expected to provide reasonable advance notification in writing as a condition of eligibility for a leave.  The employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave to avoid disruption to Foundation operations. 

A Personnel Action Form must be filled out to indicate the nature of the leave request as well as the period of leave.  The PAF should be signed by the employee, supervisor and Project Director and submitted to the Foundation Human Resources Director for pre-approval.  The Human Resources Director will make the final decision on all leave requests.

Normally, leave requests will not be considered unless the employee has completed one year of service with the Foundation.  However, employees are eligible for a leave of absence before completing one year of service where required by state or federal law.  For example, leaves of absence may be granted to any employee for work-related injuries, disabilities related to childbirth, jury or witness duty, or military duty.

Factors that may be considered in determining eligibility for a general leave of absence include:  the employee's level of job responsibility, length of service and performance; the reason for the request; the expected impact of the leave on the employer; and the Foundation's ability to obtain a satisfactory replacement during the employee's absence. 

The Foundation will consider an employee's request for a leave of absence for reasons that include (but are not limited to):

Personal leaves of absence for other than the above reasons may be considered for reasonable periods of time not to exceed thirty days. 

A leave of absence is not designed for employees who are terminating employment or not intending to return to work.  Leaves will only be granted for the period of need as certified by the appropriate documentation or authority.  Leaves covered by specific laws will be granted as provided by law, however, in no instance will a leave extend beyond the termination date specified for the position or the end of the grant, contract or project, whichever is sooner.  Any leave of absence that qualifies as leave under the state or federal family and medical leave laws (discussed below), will be counted as family/medical leave and charged against that entitlement (currently 12 workweeks of family/medical leave in a 12-month period).

As previously noted, employees are not eligible for employer benefits contributions while on a general unpaid leave of absence and must make arrangements for self-payment of any benefits costs (e.g., medical insurance) they wish to continue while on leave. Medical, vision and dental coverages will normally continue until the end of the month in which the leave begins and resume again at the beginning of the month following the date of their return.  Contact the Foundation Human Resources Director for additional information.  Similarly, vacation and sick leave credits do not accrue while on unpaid leave status.  Except as provided by law, time on leave does not count toward an employee's service credit for the purposes of benefits increases, merit salary increases, vacation accruals, or fulfillment of the Introductory Employment Period.

If an employee accepts other employment or, without prior approval or valid excuse, fails to return to work promptly upon the expiration of the leave, it will be assumed that the employee has voluntarily terminated his/her employment. 

When an employee returns from an approved leave of absence, the Foundation will attempt to offer a position similar to that held at the time of leaving, if available.  However, reinstatement cannot be guaranteed.  There will be times when the Foundation will be unable to maintain a position whose funding has ended or, because of business needs, will be unable to hold a position open or provide an appropriate alternative position for which the employee is qualified.  Employees do not have reinstatement privileges on any project except the one on which they were working prior to the leave.

The following sections provide additional information pertaining to specific types of leaves of absence:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The Foundation will grant family and medical leave in accordance with the requirements of applicable state and federal law in effect at the time the leave is granted.  No greater or lesser leave benefits will be granted than those set forth in the relevant state or federal laws.  In certain situations, the federal law requires that provisions of state law apply.  In any case, Foundation employees will be eligible for the most generous benefits available under either law.

Please contact your supervisor or the Human Resources Director as soon as you become aware of the need for a family and medical leave.  The following is a summary of the relevant provisions of these laws:

  1. Eligibility - To be eligible for family and medical leave benefits, you must:  (1) have worked for the Foundation for a total of at least 12 months; (2) have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave; (3) been employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed within 75 miles.

  2. Leave Available – An eligible employee may receive up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period.  A 12-month period is measured backward from the date of the leave request.

  3.  Leave Uses - Family and medical leave may be used for one or more of the following reasons:  (1) for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; (2) to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition); or (3) to take medical leave when the Employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.  Under some circumstances family and medical leave can be taken intermittently – which means taking leave in blocks of time, or by reducing the employee’s normal weekly or daily work schedule.  If you are pregnant, you may have the right to take a pregnancy disability leave in addition to a family and medical leave.  Please review the Pregnancy Disability Leave policy below and notify your supervisor or the Human Resources Director if you need leave due to your pregnancy.

  4. Notice & Certification – If you need family and medical leave, you may be required to provide:

    • 30-day advance notice when the need for the leave is foreseeable;

    • Medical certification from a health care provider (both prior to the leave and prior to reinstatement).

    • Periodic re-certification;

    • Periodic reports during the leave.

  5. Compensation During Family and Medical Leave – The Foundation will require you to use accrued paid leave (such as vacation or sick leave) to cover some or all of the family and medical leave for your own serious health condition and in accordance with its policies for sick and vacation leave stated elsewhere in this book.  The use of paid time off will not extend the length of family and medical leave, and will be subject to the laws governing the use of such paid time.

  6. Benefits During Leave – The Foundation will maintain, for up to a maximum of 12 workweeks of family and medical leave, any group health insurance coverage that you were provided before the leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work.  In some instances, the Foundation may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage if you do not return to work following family or medical leave.  If you have exhausted your family and medical leave rights, but remain off work for an agreed-to period of time, you will be responsible for payment of the full costs maintaining your benefits.

  7. Job Reinstatement – Under most circumstances, upon return from family and medical leave, you will be reinstated to your previous position, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.   However, upon return from a family and medical leave, you have no greater right to reinstatement than if you had been continuously reemployed rather than on leave.  For example, if you would have been laid off had you not gone on family and medical leave, or if your position has been eliminated during the leave, then you will not be entitled to reinstatement.  If you are returning from family and medical leave taken for your own serious health condition, but you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job because of a physical or mental disability, the Foundation will attempt to accommodate you.  Your use of family and medical leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that you earned or were entitled to before using family and medical leave.

  8. Unlawful Acts – It is unlawful for the Foundation to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by state or federal family and medical leave law.  It is also unlawful for the Foundation to refuse to hire or to discharge or discriminate against any individual for being involved in any proceedings related to family and medical leave.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

  1. Employee Eligibility – The Foundation will grant an unpaid pregnancy disability leave if you are disabled because of your pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.

  2. Leave Available – If you are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, you may take up to a maximum of four months leave.  When possible and if supported by your physician, the Foundation will provide alternative work if it can be reasonably accommodated.  Leave taken under the pregnancy disability policy runs concurrently with family and medical leave under federal law, but not with family and medical leave under California law.

  3. Notice & Certification Requirements – You must provide the Foundation with reasonable advance notice of your need for a pregnancy disability leave if possible.  In addition, you must provide the Foundation with a health care provider’s statement certifying the last day you can work and the expected duration of your leave.

  4. Compensation During Leave – Pregnancy disability leaves are generally without pay.  However, you will be required to use any accrued sick leave during the otherwise unpaid portion of the pregnancy disability leave.  In addition, you may elect to use any vacation time.  All payments will be integrated with any state disability or other wage reimbursement benefits that you may receive with the intent that you receive no greater combined payment than your regular compensation would be.

  5. Benefits During Leave – If you are also eligible for federal family and medical leave, the Foundation will maintain, for up to a maximum of 12 workweeks, any group health insurance coverage that you were provided before the leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work.  In some instances, the Foundation may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage if you do not return to work following pregnancy disability leave.  If you are not eligible for family and medical leave, you will receive coverage on the same basis as employees taking other leaves, which may include self-payment of benefits if in a non-compensated status.

  6. Reinstatement – Upon the submission of a medical certification from a health care provider that you are able to return to work, you will, in most circumstances, be offered the same position held at the time of the leave or an equivalent position.  However, you will not be entitled to any greater right to reinstatement than if you had been employed continuously rather than on leave.  For example, if you would have been laid off if you had not gone on leave, then you will not be entitled to reinstatement.  Similarly, if your position has been filled in order to avoid undermining the Foundation’s ability to operate safely and efficiently while you were on leave, and there is no equivalent position available, then reinstatement will be denied.   If upon return from a pregnancy disability leave you are unable to perform the essential functions of the job because of a physical or mental disability, the Foundation will attempt to accommodate you.

Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Leave

The Foundation wishes to assist employees who recognize that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs that may interfere with their ability to perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner.  Employees who decide to enroll voluntarily in a rehabilitation program may be given unpaid time off to participate in the program unless it would result in an undue hardship to the employer.  The Foundation will attempt to keep the employee's enrollment in the program as confidential as possible under the circumstances.

Bereavement Leave

When the sick leave provision for bereavement leave is exhausted employees may request additional time off in the form of an unpaid leave of absence for the death of close family members (see item number 5 under "Sick Leave").  The supervisor may request documentation of the need for the leave.

Personal Leaves

In unusual circumstances, a personal leave of absence without pay up to a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days may be granted at the discretion of the Foundation.  Approved personal absences of shorter duration than two weeks are not normally treated as leaves, but rather as excused absences without pay. 

Military Leaves of Absence

The Foundation will grant employees who enter the United States Armed Forces, a military leave of absence in accordance with federal and state laws governing such leaves.  In order to be eligible for military leaves, employees must submit written verification (i.e., a copy of their orders) from the appropriate military authority.  Eligibility for reinstatement following military duty will conform to the guidelines set forth in the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).

Trial Court Jury and Witness Duty

The Foundation will grant a leave of absence to employees for service as a juror or witness when they give the Foundation reasonable advance notice of their obligation to serve.  Documented evidence of such service may be requested by the supervisor:  for example, a time record sheet provided by the clerk of the court.

Normally, up to ten days of paid leave in any twenty-four month period is available to Benefited Employees for this purpose.  At the end of the court service, that portion of a jury or witness duty payment designated as payment for jury service is reimbursed to the Research Foundation by submitting the payment to the Foundation Human Resources Director.  That portion designated as travel reimbursement shall be retained by the employee.  On the days you take off from work to perform jury or witness duty you will be expected to return to work for the remainder of your work schedule if time permits.

Domestic Violence Leave

Domestic violence leave is available to an employee who is a victim of domestic violence and who takes time to obtain any relief to help ensure the health safety, or welfare of the employee or his/her child(ren).  In addition, an employee may take time off to seek medical attention or psychological counseling; to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, or similar program; to participate in safety planning, including relocation.  This leave will run concurrently with FMLA and does not exceed the time permitted by FMLA.  An employee may use vacation or other accrued paid leave time as applicable.  Reasonable advanced notice is required whenever possible.  In addition, the Foundation may request after the fact certification (e.g., court order, police report, or documentation from health care professional or domestic violence advocate).  The Foundation will attempt to keep the employee's particular situation as confidential as possible under the circumstances.

Parental Leave

If you are a parent, guardian, or grandparent with custody of a child in kindergarten, grades 1-12, inclusive, or a licensed day care center and you wish to take time off to visit your child’s school for a school activity, you may take off up to eight hours each calendar month (up to a maximum of 40 hours each calendar year), per child, provided you give reasonable notice to your supervisor of your planned absence.  Employees wishing to take leave for a child’s school activities may utilize their existing vacation time.  The Foundation may require documentation from the school noting the date and time of the visit. 

Educational Assistance Leaves

Regular employees may be given time off from work with pay for the purpose of improving on-the-job skills if such training or education is, in the opinion of the Project Director and the Foundation Human Resources Director, deemed especially beneficial to the employing unit.  The classes taken, and any fees paid for job-related classes, must have the advance approval, in writing, of the Project Director and the Foundation Human Resources Director.

Time off for other than job-related classes may be given without pay, provided it does not interfere with the accomplishment of the employee's duties.  Regular Employees may be eligible for a reduced per unit fee through Regional and Continuing Education. Contact the Regional and Continuing Education Office for more information. (10/05)

Voting Time

To make the voting process at local, state, and national elections more accessible, employees who do not have sufficient time outside their working hours to vote will be allowed to take up to two hours off, with pay, for this purpose.  The employee must secure the supervisor's advance approval and supply evidence of voting (i.e., a voter's receipt) to the supervisor.

Time off for Volunteer Firefighters

A registered volunteer firefighter who would like to perform emergency duty during work hours must notify his or her supervisor and the Human Resources Director.  All time off to serve as a volunteer is unpaid unless the employee elects to utilize accrued vacation time.

Time Off for Adult Literacy Programs

The Foundation may make reasonable accommodations for any employee who reveals a literacy problem and requests that the Foundation assist him or her in enrolling in an adult literacy program, unless undue hardship to the Foundation would result.  The Foundation may also assist employees who wish to seek literacy education training by providing employees with the location local literacy programs.

The Foundation will take reasonable steps to safeguard the privacy of any employee who identifies himself or herself as an individual with a literacy problem.  Any employee who wishes to identify himself or herself as an individual with a literacy problem may contact the Human Resources Director directly.  Further, individuals who are performing satisfactorily will not be subject to termination of employment because they have disclosed literacy problems.

While the Foundation generally encourages employees to improve their literacy skills, the Foundation will not reimburse employees for the costs incurred in attending a literacy program.  Nonexempt employees may use vacation pay to make up for work that is missed to attend literacy classes.

Live Scan Policy

Pursuant to California Penal Code section 11105.3, the CSU, Chico Research Foundation may request criminal record information from the Department of Justice to assist with determining the character and fitness of a person who applies for employment, or is employed, or is a volunteer in a human services field that involves the care and security of children, the elderly, the handicapped, or the mentally impaired or in which employees or volunteers have supervisory or disciplinary power over children.

The Human Resources Department of the CSU, Chico Research Foundation in conjunction with the Project Director and in consideration of the work being performed on a specific grant/contract will determine what positions will require fingerprinting and Department of Justice or FBI background checks. Individuals appointed to such employment or volunteer positions will be processed through Live Scan. It is the Foundation’s policy that only those positions which have a true exposure involving the care and security of children, the elderly, the handicapped, or the mentally impaired or with supervisory or disciplinary power over children will be processed through a DOJ or FBI background check. Those positions with tangential interactions not involving isolated one-to-one relationships will not require fingerprinting.


  1. Departments preauthorized by the HR Office will dispense a “Request for Live Scan Service” and instructions directly to the individual and communicate required information to the Foundation HR Office. (Upward Bound, Education Talent Search, Passages).

  2. Departments not noted in paragraph 1 will notify the HR Office and communicate the required information. The individuals needing Live Scan will then be sent to the Foundation HR Office for instructions and form dispersal.

  3. An individual in an identified position who has not been cleared through this process will not be allowed to work in a capacity where the specific exposure exists until such clearance is obtained. Individuals will be allowed to be in a team with a cleared individual for training purposes, or may work in a capacity where the exposure does not exist pending clearance.

  4. The HR Office will be responsible for receiving the information via secure website from the Department of Justice.

  5. When clearance is obtained, the appropriate departments will be notified that the individual can assume his/her full duties.

  6. If criminal history information is received by the HR Office, an assessment will be made on an individual basis as to the relevance of the offense to the position being pursued, and the age of the offense. For example, a thirty year old conviction for embezzlement may not now bear any relevance or risk for an individual volunteering to be a foster grandparent; however, it may still not be appropriate for someone employed as a bill payer for a senior. Crimes of a sexual or violent nature would never be appropriate for those involving the care and security of children, the elderly, the handicapped, or the mentally impaired or with supervisory or disciplinary power over children.

Overtime Policy

Government regulations allow supervisors to require employees to work beyond normally scheduled hours.  Although advance notice is given when feasible, this is not always possible.  All Non-Exempt Employees must have written prior supervisory approval before working overtime.  This category includes all employees who are covered by the overtime provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and any applicable State laws.  (Please refer to descriptions of Non-Exempt and Exempt Employees for more clarification.)  Because unauthorized overtime is against Foundation policy, employees who work unauthorized overtime are subject to discipline that may include termination.

The normal work schedule is eight hours per day, forty hours per week.  For purposes of determining which hours constitute overtime, only actual hours worked in a given workday or workweek will be counted:  time off with pay for any reason (e.g., holidays, vacation or sick leave) will not be deemed hours worked when calculating overtime.  The Foundation provides compensation for all overtime worked by non-exempt employees in accordance with state and federal law as follows:

All hours worked in excess of 8 hours in one workday or 40 hours in one workweek will be treated as overtime.  A workday normally begins at midnight and ends 24 hours later.  A normal workweek begins each Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight the following Saturday.

Compensation for hours in excess of 40 for the workweek, or in excess of 8 but less than 12 for the workday, and for the first 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in one workweek, shall be paid at a rate of one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay. 

Compensation for hours in excess of 12 in one workday and in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive workday in a workweek shall be paid at double the regular rate of pay.

Worked holidays are treated the same as any other day in figuring overtime pay.

An Exempt Employee will receive full salary for any week in which he/she does any work, in accordance with the pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Exempt Employees may have to work hours beyond their normal schedules, as work demands require.  No overtime compensation will be paid to Exempt Employees.

Performance Evaluations

Evaluations let employees know how well they are performing their assigned duties in target areas, and identify areas and means of improvement.  Performance evaluation, and good two-way communication in general, should be an ongoing process.  Supervisors are asked to complete a written evaluation after the first 180 days of an employee’s new assignment to assess the employee’s ability to perform assigned tasks, and to facilitate the employee’s adjustment to a new position and work relationships.  Thereafter,  supervisors should carry out regular and informal discussions with employees throughout the year, using the annual performance review to summarize progress more formally and in writing. 

Written performance evaluations help to insure that a supervisor's assessment of employee performance is communicated accurately.  The annual performance evaluation also provides a forum for discussing the employee's needs, work relationships, and possible development opportunities.  It is also the time to set departmental and personal goals.

Supervisors should conduct employee performance reviews at least annually, but more frequently if there are changes in job duties or recurring performance problems.   The purpose of annual evaluations is to advise employees how well they are meeting job standards, to identify performance problems and the underlying causes of those problems, and to motivate employees to follow a plan for improvement.  It is important that evaluators present an objective and accurate analysis of an employee's performance.  Performance appraisals should be submitted to the Foundation Human Resources Director for review prior to presentation to the employee.  Evaluations that are not thoroughly or thoughtfully done may be returned to the supervisor for reworking prior to presentation to the employee.

If the employee is eligible for a merit pay increase, the performance evaluation must be completed first and provide the documented basis for that award.  Positive performance evaluations do not guarantee pay increases or advancement.  Pay increases are solely within the discretion of the Foundation and may depend on other factors in addition to performance, such as the availability of funds.

After review and discussion of the evaluation, both the employee and the supervisor should sign it to acknowledge that it has been presented and discussed.  A signed evaluation does not mean that an employee necessarily agrees with everything contained in the evaluation.  A performance appraisal signed by both the employee and the supervisor must be submitted to the Foundation Human Resources Director to be maintained in the employee's personnel file.

Prohibited Conduct

Listed below are examples of inappropriate conduct or infractions of work rules that are prohibited and will not be tolerated. It is not intended as a comprehensive listing: other types of conduct deemed injurious to security, personal safety, employee welfare, and the Foundation's operations will also be prohibited. Such misconduct can result in disciplinary action that may include immediate discharge without warning. Interpretations as to the appropriateness of employee behavior and disciplinary action are at the sole discretion and judgment of the Foundation. Supervisors are advised to first consult the Foundation Human Resources Director or Executive Director prior to taking any corrective action against an employee.

  • Obtaining employment based on false or misleading information;

  • Falsifying information in, or making material omissions in, any documents or records;

  • Engaging in criminal conduct, whether or not related to job performance;

  • Misusing funds, or other forms of dishonesty;

  • Stealing or damaging Foundation or University property, or the property of another employee or visitor;

  • Removing or borrowing Foundation property without prior authorization, or other unauthorized use of Foundation time, materials or facilities;

  • Acting in any manner that might endanger the safety or lives of others or Foundation security;

  • Illegal possession of firearms or weapons on Foundation or University premises;

  • Fighting on Foundation or University premises;

  • Being under the influence of, or possessing intoxicants or unlawful drugs while on the job;

  • Discriminating in a manner prohibited by law or Foundation policy;

  • Unlawful harassment, including behavior or language offensive to other employees;

  • Disclosing confidential information to unauthorized persons;

  • Disregard for Foundation policies or procedures or other insubordination;

  • Inappropriate or unprofessional conduct while working or while representing the Foundation;

  • Unsatisfactory or marginal performance, as defined by the supervisor;

  • Failure to observe working schedules or assigned overtime;

  • Excessive absenteeism or lateness;

  • Failing to report injuries, no matter how slight;

  • Failure to provide a physician's certificate when requested to do so;

  • Working overtime without authorization;

  • Behavior that is offensive to other employees;

  • Violation of any employer policy, including policies described in this manual, as revised from time to time.

It should be remembered that employment with the Foundation is terminable at-will. Accordingly, either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at-will, with or without cause or advance notice. The Foundation retains the right to administer and modify all terms and conditions of employment, including the right to impose discipline of whatever type and for whatever reasons the employer, at its sole discretion, determines to be appropriate.

Progressive Discipline

The Research Foundation must retain the ability to discipline employees where it determines that such action is warranted by the circumstances.  Although all employment relationships are terminable at-will, at any time, at the Foundation's sole discretion, the employer may exercise its discretion to utilize forms of discipline that are less severe than termination in certain cases.  Examples of less severe forms of discipline include verbal or written counseling, demotion or suspension.  However, progressive discipline is not mandatory or binding.  The Foundation reserves the right, at its discretion, to deviate from any formal system of discipline.  The progressive discipline system is intended to give employees advance notice, whenever possible, of problems with their conduct or performance in order to provide them an opportunity to correct them.

Retroactive Pay Adjustments

1. Prohibitive Retroactive Pay Adjustments

Retroactive pay adjustments impose significant costs on the Foundation in terms of money, employee relations and administrative time and therefore should be used only on a limited basis. Accordingly, the following types of transactions will no longer be permitted:

A. Retroactive adjustments dated over 60 days prior to the current pay period.

B. Retroactive adjustments in a prior tax year.

2. Allowable Retroactive Pay Adjustments

There are occasionally compelling business reasons for permitting retroactive pay adjustments. These exceptions will be handled on an individual basis, and will require the approval of one of the officers listed below:

A. Retroactive pay adjustment dated up to 45 days prior to the current pay period require the approval of the Department Dean for your grant or sponsored program. All other units will require approval by an Executive Director or AVP level.

B. Retroactive pay adjustments dated from 46 to 60 days prior to the current pay period require the approval noted above AND the University Provost or their designee.

3. Processing

It is critical that no commitments regarding the effective date for pay adjustments be made to employees until written authorization is received from the Human Resources and Payroll Departments. Approved pay adjustments will be made as a lump sum supplemental payment to employees. Retroactive pay will be charged against project(s) corresponding to the retroactive dates with the exception of paid time off, i.e.: vacation, sick, etc. The retroactive pay associated with paid time off will also be charged to the project(s) and not against fringe pool.

4. Fringe Assessment

The fringe rate will be assessed to the entire retroactive pay amount and charged to the corresponding project(s). This includes any “Paid Time Off” (i.e.: vacation, sick, holiday, etc.) hours that occurred during a retro period calculation.

5. Justification

This policy will substantially reduce costs, yet still provide departments the ability to address required pay and classification issues.

Safety Policy

It is the policy of the CSU, Chico Research Foundation to provide safe working conditions for all employees and to promote continuing, vital SAFETY AWARENESS at all levels, from top management to the individual worker.  It is our belief that SAFETY AWARENESS is the basis on which a safety program must be founded; for, without this, safety is seriously compromised.

The Research Foundation recognizes its responsibility to furnish a place of employment which shall be safe for employees and visitors; to provide safety devices and mechanical safeguards; to the use of methods and processes to protect the life, health, safety and welfare of employees, visitors and the general public; and, to maintain and enforce a program to fulfill this responsibility.

Therefore, it shall be considered your responsibility to not only assure your own personal safety, but to develop a concern for the safety of all who work with you.  If you become aware of a safety concern or hazardous situation, it should be reported immediately to your supervisor and the CSU, Chico Research Foundation Administrative Office.  A Report of Safety Hazard is used for this purpose.   Either use the link or contact the Research Foundation Administration Office to request a form.  In no circumstance, except an emergency, should an employee leave a shift without reporting a work related injury or illness that has occurred.

As an employee, you shall at all times, while on Research Foundation or University property, conduct yourselves and perform work in a safe manner consistent with existing safety rules.

For safety training resources, contact the Research Foundation Administration office at 25 Main St., Ste. 203, (530) 898-6811.

Vacation Policy

Vehicle Use Policy

For insurance and liability issues as well as good business practice, the Foundation must document that all individuals who drive vehicles on Foundation business hold a valid driver’s license, an acceptable driving record, and in cases where a personal vehicle is involved, proof of automobile liability insurance on the car being utilized for Foundation business.  This requirement applies to all individuals, employees or volunteers, who drive as a required part of their position requirements two or more times per week.  Inconsistent or incendental drivers do not need to show proof of liability insurance or take part in the DMV Employee Pull Notice Program.

Drivers on Foundation business will be required to complete a Driver Certification for Business Use of Vehicle if they drive on a consistent basis, two or more times per week, as part of their regular job duties.  This form requires both employee/volunteer and Project Director signatures. In addition, drivers are also required to be enrolled in the DMV Employee Pull Notice Program.

  • Employees are advised of the Vehicle Use Policy at the time of hire by inclusion of this policy in the New Hire Employee Packet.  Employees will be required to sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the policy and their agreement to adhere to its provisions.

  • All volunteers will be provided with the Vehicle Use Policy by their appropriate Project Director at the time driving becomes part of their volunteer service and will sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the policy and their agreement to adhere to its provisions.

  • Employees and volunteers who drive on Foundation business two or more times per week will be required to complete a Driver Certification for Business Use of Vehicle which includes Project Director/Supervisor signature.

  • Employees and volunteers who drive two more more times per week on RF business will be required to complete a DMV Authorization for Release of Driver Record Information which will be submitted to the Foundation Human Resources Office for processing in addition to the Certification.

  • Individuals under the age of 18 may not drive on Foundation business.

  • Liability insurance on the personal automobile must be at least in the minimum amounts required by California State law ($15,000 for injury or death of 1 person per accident; $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident; $5,000 for property damage per accident).   If involved in an accident while on Foundation business, the personal automobile insurance will be primary in the event of a loss.  The Foundation’s insurance coverage is only applicable if the liability exceeds the personal liability insurance coverage.  It is suggested that collision insurance sufficient to cover the reasonable value of the vehicle, less a standard deductible, also be carried.  The Foundation’s insurance does not cover loss or damage to the vehicle or the deductible.

  • A valid driver’s license must be in the individual’s possession whenever he/she drives.

  • Current vehicle registration and proof of insurance must be in the vehicle at all times.

  • Vehicle must be equipped with safety belts in good operating condition and all persons in the vehicle must be required to wear them.

  • Vehicle should be adequate for the work performed and must be in safe mechanical condition as required by  law.

  • If the employee is in an accident while on Foundation business, you must report the accident within 24 hours to the Foundation Administrative Office at 530-898-6811.

  • Individuals driving on Foundation business must have less than 4 violation points in a 12-month period or less than 6 points in an 18-month period.  Point values are those enumerated on the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Negligent Operator Count Sheet.  Violation points will be counted regardless of whether the driving which resulted in acquiring the violation points was or was not in the course of employment.

Wireless Device Policy